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Calling all green thumbs for Bourke garden competition

Bourke Garden Club Secretary Liz Kerr and President Jackie Davis getting ready for the 2021 garden compeition. Photo TWH

Bourke & District Garden Club

Bourke is famous for many reasons, and one of them is its beautiful gardens.

In good years, Bourke is an oasis in the arid far west, with spectacular floral displays in spring adding colour and charm to the streets, businesses, schools, and private properties across the shire.

The Bourke Garden Club’s annual garden competition is hotly contested, and organisers are hoping Bourke’s green thumbs will once again support the event and nominate.

Club spokesperson Liz Kerr said everyone within the 2840 postcode was eligible to enter, and with the kinder weather this year, she hoped the number of entries would return to pre-drought levels.

The competition is run with the support of the Bourke Shire Council and is open for people within a 25-kilometre radius of the Bourke township, with other categories for those living on rural properties and in the smaller villages to take part as well.

“We have proud gardeners right across the shire on properties and in the villages and we want everyone can be part of it,” Liz said.

“It is always interesting to see what people are doing with their gardens and it is such an individualistic and creative outlet, and everyone does something different.

“There are always tweaks and quirks which reflect the personality of the gardener, and it is fascinating to see the creativity that people bring to their gardens.

“There are people on properties who are very creative in their gardens who very creative in their gardens, which shows that people are thinking outside the box, and the results can be gorgeous,” she said.

The Garden Club has been running now for 30 years and has been a big part of the local community fabric and has contributed significantly to the beautification of the town’s streetscapes, as well school grounds and business premises.

The droughts may have diminished numbers at times over those three decades, and COVID played havoc as it did with all community events at the time, but Liz said it was now time to build on the numbers and get them back to where they were before the worst of the drought and the prolonged water restrictions of recent years.

“We had about 40 gardens last year, but before the drought and COVID we had around 80 competitors,” Liz said.

“It has always been well supported by the community and the Bourke Shire Council.

“The Garden Club Competition runs to a format used for many years by our older members, and at our Spring Flower and Geranium Show in September we will be recognising some of our long-standing members with an honorary certificate.

“The Bourke Garden Club has been a member of Garden Clubs Australia for 30 years and a lot of traditions have developed over that time.

“There are 26 categories, including local private garden, commercial gardens such as at motels and businesses, and then we have the community gardens, which includes our schools.

“The Open Category is always interesting and that also includes gardens in pool areas or low water use gardens, and our rural category.

“For rural gardens, we ask people anywhere in the 2840 postcode, to send in photos or a short video and it’s free entry for everybody.

“For gardens inside the 25-kilometre radius, the judges actually visit them to select the winners of each category,” Liz said.

Entry forms are available on the Bourke Shire Council’s website page or at the Council offices, or you can email

Entries close at 2pm on Friday September 15, and gardens will be judged on Thursday September 21 and Friday September 22.


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